There’s only one sure way to keep the middle class in its increasingly tiny place, and that is to make sure that their wages remain stagnant. Historically, one of the most effective ways of doing that has been to dilute or eliminate the power of unions.
Now this week we find a conservative national group filing a federal lawsuit for a pair of Connecticut state employees who want a refund of the union dues that were taken from their paychecks despite having never joined the bargaining unit. Their names are Kiernan Wholean and James Grillo, but their names are unimportant: they could be any shills suborned into taking the pay raises and working conditions negotiated for them, then wanting it for nothing.
It’s the zero-sum Trumpian world of 2018: one can gain only if another loses.
These two workers’ union dues amount to a pittance, but if they were to win their case and have their dues returned for the last three years, and if other purse-leeches insist on the same reward for their perfidy, the effects could be devastating: National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix is looking to collect more than $100 million nationwide.
The principal behind unions is the same as the principal behind armies or offensive lines in football: there is strength in numbers. The Arizona teachers proved that.
No one will deny that there have been instances of corrupt union leadership, just as there have been instances of corruption in the medical field, in politics, in manufacturing, in religion. But unions threaten to sew shut the deep pockets of the magnates and billionaires; thus people like Mark Mix and organizations like the NRTWF (to which a Koch brothers group funneled $1 million in 2012) are more than willing to eviscerate these “impediments” and maintain the current income inequality.
With the Supreme Court stumbling irrevocably to the right, there seems little to impede the increasing attacks on middle class Americans, especially when it is those very same middle class Americans who are leading the attack. Whatever blood money Kiernan Wholean and James Grillo may receive pales in comparison to the damage they will do to workers like themselves.